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McRae makes an impact in Tennessee
Jordan McRae gets airborne for a bucket during last season’s playoff game at home against Dougherty State. The former Panther-turned-Volunteer is making headlines in his new home town. - photo by Courier file photo

Former Liberty County Panther basketball standout Jordan McRae arrived in Knoxville, Tenn., at the end of May and already the incoming University of Tennessee freshman’s name has appeared in print. He’s making a name for himself in his new community.

In an NCAA-sanctioned men’s certified basketball league event, McRae performed impressively. He represented team DeRoyal Industries in the championship game against the News Sentinel Team at the Rocky Top Basketball League championship game July 1 at Bearden High School in Knoxville.

As reported in, McRae matched his future Volunteer teammate, junior guard Scotty Hopson, shot for shot during the title match, stealing the show.

The article reported McRae scored a game-high 42 points and Hopson hit 40. The News Sentinel squad eked out a 127-122 win in the closing seconds.

The sports writer Ryan Callahan wrote, "But no one, aside from Hopson, was as impressive as McRae’s display of drives, jump shots, high-flying dunks and put-backs."

McRae made news even before he set up residence in Tennessee.

On April 9, McRae was paired with Volunteer signee Trae Golden for the Night of Future Stars event at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, according to a report posted on

The duo trailed 7-2 when McRae hit a mid-range jump shot and two trey shots to cut the lead to a point.

The future teammates eventually came up short, losing 14-10, but the men advanced to the championship round where they defeated Louisville commits Russ Smith and Justin Coleman, 13-10. reported McRae scored nine 3-point shots in the 3-point shootout contest, just one short of the 10 needed to advance to the shootout championship. said McRae wowed the crowd during the slam dunk competition.

McRae, ranked No. 38 on the ESPNU 100 for 2010, scored 25 out of a possible 30 points on his first attempt. Later, McRae threw down a high-flying windmill dunk that drew applause from the stands and earned a perfect score from the judges.

That same evening, McRae and Golden took the floor for the Derby Festival Classic where McRae reportedly made an immediate impact as his squad trailed by a considerable margin.

McRae racked up 14 points and six rebounds in just 22 minutes of action.

"I was trying to go out there and play hard and put on a good performance so everybody from Tennessee would know they are getting a real good player next year," McRae told a reporter for

"I don’t like losing. I don’t," he told "I don’t accept losing."

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